Snails in Soft Water Tanks - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Upstate NY
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Snails in Soft Water Tanks

I've already posted this on TFK and haven't received a response yet aside from someone stating they would also like to know, so I figured I would give this forum a shot (and if no one here knows either, perhaps a snail-specific forum).

Lately I've been reading up on water conditions, specifically KH, GH, and pH; currently I only have Bettas and I haven't done anything to alter these levels in their tanks, but I would like to eventually set them up in larger tanks and try to give them as ideal of water conditions for their species as I can (i.e. soft water). I'd also like to eventually set up a large tank with some Glofish who, incidentally, also do best in soft water -- so yet another soft water tank.

Now, I already have Mystery Snails, which I know do best in hard water due to their calcium needs (that's the reason I've seen mentioned, at least), so I'm trying to figure out if I could keep them in soft water tanks or if they would be best off in "their own" hard water tank. I haven't found anything that definitively answers my question (that I can see).

If I keep the pH stable and in the proper range for the snails, can I get away with keeping them in soft water but with a calcium-rich diet?

I'm thinking primarily by way of dark, leafy greens if that makes a difference.

Most of what I'm seeing seems to be more focused on making the water harder, which isn't what I'm looking for. Mostly looking for opinions and/or experience -- if it's not advisable then I can figure something out (I've kind of toyed with the idea of a Guppy tank, so perhaps I could put them in there or in their own tank if I can't do the Guppies). Regardless, this isn't an immediate thing. I still have a lot of work to do as far as understanding and figuring out these three aspects of water quality before I start messing around with them, plus we may very well be moving before too long.

I would really appreciate someone who has a good idea regarding the efficacy of this idea answering, because I've seen it indicated a few times that pH is the more important of the two, and I'm not sure if that means one could get away with soft water with snails.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 02:13 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Virginia, USA
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Actually pH and GH are equally important to fish (and I'm assuming snails). Do you know the pH, GH, and KH of your water to know that it is too soft or hard for betta or snails? Soft water has a GH less than 8. According to Fishbase the betta range is 5 to 19 dGH. These two can easily coexist in medium hard water (8 to 12 dGH). If you're going to start playing with GH and KH, I highly recommend getting a test kit. API makes a great one.

Apple snails may be different, but I have MTS, pond snails, and ramshorn living in my tanks. All of them have very soft water (3 dGH). Apple snails might be different, tho. Maybe check out


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 296
I did know that the pH and GH levels were equally important, but the best I could understand was that snails do best in hard water because of their calcium needs, hence my question about whether a calcium-rich diet would suffice and my confusion as to whether it really was an "either/or" situation (with pH being most important for snails) or if it was like fish and it was equally important.

I do have the API master kit, which unfortunately doesn't have the KH/GH tests -- I haven't yet tested pH because I knew that Bettas were adaptable, and I haven't tested it recently because I don't plan to do anything about these three values until after we move (which may well have water with different values in it). I do, however, without knowing the actual values, know that our water is hard: both of the girls have horrible hard water deposits on their tanks. :-/

Thank you for your response though: it would seem that the snails won't have issues even with the parameters I'm looking at then (I'm supposed to be preparing for exams of late, so I haven't looked into the parameters for specific fish too much aside from on TFK, which doesn't list an actual GH scale for Bettas or Apple Snails). I also haven't been able to read too much about the rest, so wasn't sure where exactly "soft" was supposed to start either. As said, I still have research to do, and time before I can do anything as well: I'm planning to get the tanks set up and the parameters set before adding the fish -- it's sort of a learning project I guess you could say. Absolutely I planned to buy the GH/KH test kit before messing around with things, and the only reason I don't have one yet is that I'm still looking for it locally (there's a local LF/PS that I'm planning to check some time this week).

I did read through the information part of and didn't find anything regarding this (I can't even remember seeing actual GH values). Apparently they have a forum? I wasn't looking for one, so didn't notice, but I keep hearing about it so I may take a look. I'll also have to check out Fishbase and look around on that for an additional source of information.

Once again, thank you for your response. Even though this is a little ways off, it's still been bugging me, haha.

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